The real legal world is rarely as tense an active as courtroom dramas would have you believe. For example, your attorney is bound by the law when objecting to questions: he may only interrupt if the question is irrelevant or improper. If the answer hurts your case, but is relevant, there is legally nothing he can do.
In addition, attorneys on both sides will often agree to keep deposition objections to a minimum to make the process go more smoothly. This does not mean that the deposing attorney can ask you any questions he wants and you must answer; it means that both attorneys have agreed to keep the line of questioning relevant and to the point. If the opposing attorney strays from this agreement, your attorney will be allowed to do the same with his clients, so it is best for both advisors to stay on task.
That said, you should stay wary of some questions in case you choose to raise an objection yourself. Here are a few tactics attorneys may use during a D.C. deposition:
- Burying the real question. At the start of your deposition, you will be asked about basic information in order to relax you and get the session started easily. However, simple questions are often interspersed with questions that can prove revealing, such as “Where do you live?” and “Do you live alone?”
- Repetition. You may be asked the same question in different ways, or several different times over the course of the deposition. This may be done to make sure your answers are consistent and accurate, but can easily fluster witnesses into giving conflicting answers. Don’t become agitated if you have already given the information; repeat the previous answer simply and move on.
- Clarifications. Beware of any question that requires a long answer. Deposing attorneys can always use your words against you, and you may not fully consider your word choices when giving your opinion. If an attorney asks you to clarify a previous answer, your attorney should interject so that you are asked direct questions rather than giving a long version of events.